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Can I Receive Alimony as a Stay-at-Home Parent?

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerIn many families, stay-at-home parents serve crucial roles. They provide essential care for a couple’s children, ensuring that their needs are attended to at all times, and they also manage a variety of other household responsibilities. Even if they do not earn income, their efforts provide essential support for their partners, ensuring that a family’s primary income earner can focus on their career. Unfortunately, these contributions are not always recognized, especially when addressing financial concerns during the divorce process.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may be worried about how you will be able to maintain your household and continue meeting your children’s needs during and after your divorce. Fortunately, the law recognizes the contributions you have made to your family, and you will likely be able to receive financial assistance from your former partner. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can ensure that alimony/spousal maintenance payments will be put in place and that other financial concerns will be addressed correctly.

Understanding Spousal Maintenance

When there is a difference between the amount of income earned by divorcing spouses and the financial resources available to each person, spousal maintenance may be appropriate. Spousal maintenance is sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal support, and it is meant to provide necessary financial assistance to ensure that a spouse who earns a lower income will not be forced to accept a lower standard of living. That is, both spouses should be able to continue living in similar circumstances as they did during their marriage, and ongoing payments from the spouse who earns more income may be necessary to maintain these standards.

Will I Get Spousal Maintenance? 

While spousal maintenance is not automatically guaranteed, it is more likely to be awarded if one spouse will be at a financial disadvantage. As a stay-at-home parent, you can make the case that due to the support you have provided for your spouse, you deserve to receive payments that will help you meet your needs. 

You can address the factors that influence decisions about spousal support, including impairments to your earning capacity and a lack of work experience because you have stayed at home to care for your children, contributions you have made that have supported your spouse’s career, the need to continue providing care for your children, and the time and effort that would be necessary to re-enter the workforce and earn enough income to support yourself in the same lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage.

Who Decides Whether Someone Has to Pay Spousal Support? 

The decision about whether you will receive spousal maintenance is left to the discretion of a judge, although you may also be able to reach an agreement with your spouse about whether support will be paid. Your divorce settlement will detail any payments you will receive, including the amount that your spouse will provide on an ongoing basis, the length of time these payments will last, and any reasons that payments may be modified or terminated in the future.

If you will receive spousal support, Illinois law provides a formula that is used in most cases to determine the amount that will be paid. This formula is based on the income that you and your spouse currently earn. If you do not earn an income, you will be able to receive a percentage of your spouse’s income. Illinois law also specifies the amount of time that maintenance will be paid, which will be a percentage of the length of your marriage.

Contact Our DuPage County Spousal Support Attorneys

If you are concerned about how you will meet your needs as a stay-at-home parent after your divorce, an experienced attorney can help you advocate for solutions that will provide you with ongoing financial support. 

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyers will make sure you understand how Illinois law applies to your case, and we will help you put the proper support orders in place. We will also help address all other financial issues that may arise during your divorce, including child support and property division. To schedule an initial attorney meeting and get the legal representation you need during your divorce, contact us today at 630-665-7300.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree